Solar jobs are booming. In 2014 alone, more than 31,000 new solar industry jobs were added to the U.S. economy, according to The Solar Foundation’s Annual Solar Jobs Census. That’s twenty times higher than the average growth rate for all jobs in the U.S. Since 2010, 80,000 jobs have been added, bringing the total number of industry jobs to 174,000. 2015 is expected to continue this trend, with an encouraging 20% solar job growth prediction.
But some are worried about the future of solar jobs — and the future of rooftop solar. That’s because solar policies around the country are under threat.
In California, our nation’s top solar state, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is considering changes to net metering. That by itself might not be so worrisome, but according to the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), the utilities in the state are proposing to do away with net metering altogether. When you add that to impending changes to the residential rate structure, solar advocates fear this could have a crippling effect on the solar market. With that market, of course, go solar jobs.
Over 2,000 solar companies in California employ 54,690 people. The state boasts 3 GW of solar installed on schools, farms, retailers, offices, and homes.
In response to the concern about what might happen to the industry in California, a solar worker rally is being organized to tell the CPUC, “Don’t kill my job!” Solar workers in the state are encouraged to participate and make their voices heard.
Thursday, May 21, from 8:45 to 10:00 am
Front steps of the California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Join other rooftop solar workers from around the state for a rally and press conference on the front steps of the CPUC at 8:45 am. After the brief rally, we will go into the CPUC voting meeting to make our presence felt. We will leave the meeting at approximately 10:00 am.